Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Urban Studies


School of Urban Planning and Regional Studies

Major Professor

Miestchovich, Ivan; Wildgen, John

Second Advisor

Wagner, Fritz


Spring Break, which has been transformed from a rather mild mid-winter vacation to a cultural rite over the past seventy-years, allows students to bring their values en masse to the host locations they visit. While only visiting these locales for a short time, college students nonetheless significantly impact the economic, public governance and socio-cultural processes of their Spring Break host locations. This dissertation explores the process of how and why students choose these locations and the impacts that occur as a result. A quantitative approach is used to determine the level of impact on a host location's economic, socio-cultural and public governance processes and what role city policies have in affecting these impacts. The data comes primarily from public sources – national, state and local – between 1995 and 2005. This investigation helps to answer the question ‘Is Spring Break worth the cost of the student impacts?' In doing so, it will allow for current Spring Break cities in the U.S. to determine what role the event plays in their future and provides potential Spring Break locations with the information necessary to determine whether or not to court the next generation of Spring Breakers.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.